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Declassified U.S. Nuclear Test Film #28

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Uploaded on Oct 30, 2007

0800028 - Vela Uniform Participation in Operation Nougat and Gnome - 1961-62 - 21:30 - Black&White - The majority of Operation Nougats nuclear tests were shaft or tunnel tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) for weapons development purposes. However, this series also included the beginning of the Plowshare Program nuclear tests -- a program to determine how nuclear energy could be used for civilian or peaceful purposes, and for the Vela Uniform Program nuclear tests -- a program for detecting nuclear explosions underground, using ground-based instruments for detecting explosions in outer space, and establishing satellite-based instruments for the detection of explosions in outer space.

Specifically, these scientists and engineers working on the GNOME test evaluated new seismic detectors which they hoped would lead to an underground test detection system. Earlier, different seismic measurement programs were conducted at the NTS by the Atomic Energy Commission and the U.S. Air Force before becoming part of the Vela Uniform Program.

The GNOME test was fired 1200 feet underground in a salt bed formation near Carlsbad, NM, on December 10, 1961. There were 48 subsurface experiments involved, making GNOME the most heavily instrumented seismic test in history. This testing provided valuable data for both the Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs.

Although GNOME was a Plowshare test, the Vela Uniform objective was to determine how the signals and effects of a 3-kiloton device detonated underground in salt beds differed from the outputs of detonations of different yields in other geologic formations. Scientists also wanted to compare the seismic signals from underground tests with that of earthquakes.

The Vela Uniform Program included seven tests conducted at several locations in the continental U.S. and Alaska between October 1963 and July 1971. These tests were SHOAL, SALMON, LONG SHOT, STERLING, SCROLL, DIAMOND DUST, and DIAMOND MINE.

Operation Nougat, conducted from September 15, 1961, to June 30, 1962, consisted of 45 on-continent underground tests, and all but GNOME were conducted at the NTS. The video discusses only some of the Nougat tests; however, the complete listing is provided for additional information.

The tests comprising the 1961-1962 Operation Nougat were as follows:

ANTLER, September 15, 1961, tunnel, weapons related, 2.6 kt
SHREW, September 16, shaft, weapons related, low yield (low yield = less than 20 kilotons)
BOOMER, October 1, shaft, weapons related, low yield
CHENA, October 10, tunnel, weapons related, low yield
MINK, October 29, shaft, weapons related, low yield
FISHER December 3, shaft, weapons related, 13.4 kt
GNOME, December 10, shaft, Plowshare, 3 kt
MAD, December 13, shaft, weapons related, 500 tons
RINGTAIL, December 17, shaft, weapons related, low yield
FEATHER, December 22, tunnel, weapons related, 150 tons
STOAT, January 9, 1962, shaft, weapons related, 5.1 kt
AGOUTI, January 18, shaft, weapons related, 6.4 kt
DORMOUSE, January 30, shaft, weapons related, low yield
STILLWATER, February 8, shaft, weapons related, 3.07 kt
ARMADILLO, February 9, shaft, weapons related, 7.1 kt
HARD HAT, February 15, shaft, weapons effects, 5.7 kt
CHINCHILLA, February 19, shaft, weapons related, 1.9 kt
CODSAW, February 19, shaft, weapons related, low yield
CIMARRON, February 23, shaft, weapons related, 11.9 kt
PLATYPUS, February 24, shaft, weapons related, low yield
PAMPAS, March 1, shaft, joint US-UK, 9.5 kt
DANNY BOY, March 5, crater, weapons effects, 430 tons
ERMINE, March 6, shaft, safety experiment, low yield
BRAZOS, March 8, shaft, weapons related, 8.4 kt
HOGNOSE, March 15, shaft, weapons related, low yield
HOOSIC, March 28, shaft, weapons related, 3.4 kt
CHINCHILLA II, March 31, shaft, weapons related, low yield
DORMOUSE PRIME, April 5, shaft, weapons related, 10.6 kt
PASSAIC, April 6, shaft, weapons related, low yield
HUDSON, April 12, shaft, weapons related, low yield
PLATTE, April 14, tunnel, weapons related, 1.85 kt
DEAD, April 21, shaft, weapons related, low yield
BLACK, April 27, shaft, weapons related, low yield
PACA, May 7, shaft, weapons related, low yield
ARIKAREE, May 10, shaft, weapons related, low yield
AARDVARK, May 12, shaft, weapons related, 40 kt
EEL, May 19, shaft, weapons related, 4.5 kt
WHITE, May 25, shaft, weapons related, low yield
RACCOON, June 1, shaft, weapons related, low yield
PACKRAT, June 6, shaft, weapons related, low yield
DES MOINES, June 13, tunnel, weapons related, 2.9 kt
DAMAN I, June 21, shaft, weapons related, low yield
HAYMAKER, June 27, shaft, weapons related, 67 kt
MARSHMALLOW, June 28, tunnel, weapons effects, low yield
SACRAMENTO, June 30, shaft, weapons related, low yield

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